Despite setting a very high bar during London 2012, Team GB are doing all they can to leap higher still and surpass pre-Olympics expectations.Rio 2016 has been littered with gold medals - 21 and counting - with several more opportunities to come as the Games draw to a close. Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, is how Britain have kept in front of China with only three days remaining. But can it continue? So far Britain has secured 55 medals in total, while China has managed 54. However, Team GB are still officially in second place in the medal table thanks to 21 gold medals compared to China's 19.
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny have hit back at claims British cyclists were cheating at the Olympics. Rivals from Germany, France and Australia had questioned the performances that have seen Britain dominate in the velodrome, winning 11 medals — including six gold. Trott and Kenny have led the way and now have 10 gold medals between them, including five in Rio.Germany’s Kristina Vogel, who beat Britain’s Becky James to gold in the women’s sprint, claimed Team GB’s performances were ‘questionable’ and she had ‘no idea how they do it’. Becky James responded by saying she thought such criticism was ‘sad’ and ‘sour grapes’. Victoria Pendleton, a two-time gold medal winning former Olympic cyclist, commented: “I can completely understand why people are questioning Team GB's performances at the Velodrome. Six gold medals, four silvers and a bronze? This is the third Games running at which we have completely cleaned up. If you think about it, that is a typical athlete's entire lifetime in the sport. If you had slogged your guts out and did not get a sniff in those 12 years I can imagine it would be pretty soul-destroying.” She continued: “I recall walking into a room to find Ernie Feargrieve (GB's lead mechanic) applying a load of nail polish to remove all the Mavic stickers. The thought was the labels might add a tiny bit of extra weight and disrupt airflow. Talk about marginal gains. But cheating? Absolutely not. People talk of ‘financial doping’ and ‘kit doping’. And the kit inRio clearly delivered a huge performance gain. But ‘doping’ implies cheating. It is a poor choice of word. There are no engines on the bike. No one takes drugs.”
| RIO 2016 - Latest Medal Table Thursday, Week 2
Gymnastics, athletics and swimming victories have pushed the United States to the top of the Olympics medal league table above Team GB, but it will also leave their athletes with a hefty tax bill when they return home. Olympic medals won by any US athlete are given a value and taxed by US authorities, based on the value of the materials in a gold, silver or bronze award. Gold medals are worth around $600 based on today’s commodity prices, a silver medal around $30 0 and copper-made bronze medals just $4. Americans for Tax Reform, a lobby group that opposes the "medal tax", put the bills at $9,900 for a gold medallist, $5,940 for a silver medallist and $3,960 for a bronze.
Simone Biles (pictured below), the 19-year-old gymnast with five Olympic medals under her belt, could be paying tax on multiple medals including four golds. The US team counts some of the most decorated Olympic athletes in the world, notably swimmer Michael Phelps, who has won 28 medals, including 23 golds, during his career - earning him the nickname of the "Flying Fish". But unlike team GB, the US government pays athletes a financial bonus if they win medals at this summer’s games, much like rivals including Italy and Russia – although this, too, is taxed as income. US gold medallists are paid $25,000, silver winners $15,000, and bronze medallists earn $10,000. Prize money is usually taxed in the UK, including Andy Murray's £2m sweetener for taking the Wimbledon Men's Singles title earlier this summer. Great Britain doesn’t offer incentive payments to its medal-winning athletes, saying it isn’t important to motivating athletes, who are instead left to cash in on their post-Olympic fame through corporate deals and media appearances.
There was no monetary award at stake last night but there was certainly plenty of competition as 14 + 1/2 Tables sat down to contest our regular Club Night at the Oxshott Bridge Club. You can read all about it in the Report by clicking on the "Competitions" tab in the Menu to the left of this box. Alternatively you can study the full Leaderboard and the individual Travellers by clicking on the "Latest Result" button at the top right of this page.